A delicious accompaniment to any Sunday roast or Christmas dinner.
- 1.5 kg (3lb) potatoes, halved
- 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) sunflower oil, or dripping, goose or duck fat (see intro.)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced
- coarse sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 220C (425F), Gas mark 7. Place the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the outsides have just softened.
- Drain and return to the pan for a minute or two to dry out, shaking vigorously to knock off all the hard edges.
- Meanwhile, preheat a roasting tin with a 1cm (1/2in) depth of oil, dripping, duck or goose fat for a few minutes until just smoking. Roughly prod the outside of the potatoes with a fork and toss them with thyme and garlic.
- Carefully tip them into the hot oil, basting the tops. Roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden.
Transfer the roast potatoes with a slotted spoon into a warmed serving bowl and season with the sea salt and place them directly on the table – eat immediately – they don't hang around!
For really crunchy roast potatoes with fluffy middles choose a floury variety of potato, such as Irish roosters and try to make sure that they are all similar in size .
Save some fat that is leftover from a roast to use for this dish. It really does make the world of difference and as all fats freeze very well there’s no excuse not to have some, especially for special occasions like Christmas day.
To ensure really crispy roast potatoes drain off any excess fat about 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time. This will help them to go really crispy and golden brown around the edges.